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It's just another instance of the prevalent obsession with health (and more specifically weight-loss)..
Regardless, eating just one complete meal for the day has many benefits when one gets used to it, among them:
- Much less time of the day worrying about food, more time to practice
- Much, much less sloth & torpor since there isn't the drowsiness after the meal (this is mentioned in multiple places in the suttas)
- Great way to practice appropriate attention (yoniso manasikāra) - because even after having multiple meals, improperly attending to food can lead to sensual cravings that can be mistaken for hunger. When having just one meal for the day this is brought right into the middle of the picture - there is no running away from sensual desire - you have to deal with it right then and there. As a result mindfulness & alertness (satisampajaññā) gets a decided boost, and you start seeing the purpose of sense restraint (indriya saṃvara) - which is a cornerstone of the path.
As the previous posters did, I'd like to caution criticizing a practice and making quick assumptions without ever undertaking it yourself or talking to people who have.
alan wrote:Because it seems pointless, and I see no inherent virtue in it.
(As for health, it is well established that several small meals spaced regularly throughout the day is optimal, along with some vigorous exercise).
Rules written to deal with the needs of a group of wanderers and the people they depended on in a totally different era--sorry, I'm going to question them.